This device, which used two pitman shafts and cranks to produce a one-up-one-down pedal action, obtained medical approval from physicians who stated that the more it was used, the better the operator's health would be. The foot pedal (or treadle) on the base drives the needle, indicating that you have a treadle machine. Pitman arms on the side of the base pivot up and down, working in conjunction with the foot pedal to provide regular up-and-down movement.
Treadle sewing machines were first manufactured by J.W. Dowell in 1872. This pioneer in sewing machine technology incorporated many features that are still found in modern sewing machines. For example, he invented the half-moon stitch, which is still used today for finishing raw edges. His designs also included a buttonhole stitch, which is still used to sew buttons on clothing.
Dowell's company, however, did not do well after his death in 1872, and by 1890 they had gone out of business. That same year, another California company, E.F. Bowen & Company, began manufacturing sewing machines under license from Dowell's son. These early Bowen machines were very popular and quickly gained control of about 95 percent of the American sewing machine market.
In 1892, the Simplex Treadle Sewing Machine was introduced by the C.S. Smith Machine Company of Chicago.
A treadle sewing machine is one that is operated mechanically by a foot pedal that the operator's foot pushes back and forth on. Today, these antiquities, which may be found at auction houses, antique dealers, and even trash stores and garage sales, serve as reminders of America's industrial might and strength. Before the advent of the electric motor, people needed something to turn wood or coal gas into mechanical energy to run their machines. Sewing machines have changed very little in structure since they were invented in 1846 by Isaac Singer. He based his design on an old horse-drawn carriage wheel sewing machine.
These early sewing machines used a variety of methods for creating the necessary stitch patterns. Some had large metal plates with notches for thread pins to go in while others had small holes with tiny steel balls placed inside them. Still other designs had levers with raised areas that would contact the material being sewn and depress a spring-loaded pin on which the pattern was printed. The type of mechanism used to operate the machine had no effect on its value as it is today; what matters is how well it works over time. Even though they are now technologically obsolete, vintage treadle sewing machines are popular with collectors because they are unique pieces of history.
Treadle sewing machines are so named because they were originally designed by engineers who worked for the Singer Company back in the day.
A sewing treadle-equipped table A treadle (from Old English: tredan, "to tread") is a machine that converts reciprocating motion into rotational motion by using a pedal. In the absence of electricity, treadles, like cranks, treadmills, and treadwheels, offer human and animal machine power. They were used for sewing clothes, shoes, and other items before the advent of modern machinery.
Treadles are used today in some historical toys and games. For example, White Mountain Alplers use a treadle to drive a toy car through an intricate network of tracks.
In fiction, a treadle can be used as a means of propulsion instead of an engine. For example, Shunji Miyamoto uses a wooden treadle to move his characters around his manga series Pacific Ocean Pirates.
In music, a treadle is a type of keyboard instrument that uses the foot to regulate the speed of a clockwork or steam-powered mechanism that drives a drum or bellows. The word was probably derived from the French tirelire, which in turn came from the Italian tirare, which in turn came from the Latin tridens, "throwing three times". Thus, a musician playing on a musical treadle performs trios.
The treadle (or foot) loom was brought to Mayan weavers by the Spanish shortly after the Conquest. Instead of lifting the warp by hand with a heddle rod as on a backstrap loom, a treadle loom lifts the warp automatically using a sequence of foot pedals. The weaver sits at a small bench called a tambor where the yarn is passed through a hole in the bottom of the drum. As she pushes up on one pedal, the drum turns which pulls the thread through the next hole in the drum's surface. When she releases the pedal, the drum stops turning and the thread drops off the end of the drum.
Treadle looms are easy to operate and require little physical effort, which makes them popular with older weavers who may have arthritis or other physical limitations. They can also be used while sitting on the floor with your legs outstretched. Because they do not require much tension in the thread, treadle looms can be woven with thicker or weaker threads than backstrap looms, which allows for more creative weaving designs. Treadle looms tend to produce thinner fabrics than backstrap looms but this is not always the case. There are many factors that influence how well a particular type of weave will stand up to wear and tear.